The creative energy of frontline staff grows profitability

Creative energy is the magic to connect with customers in a world of automation

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Scripts, algorithms, rigid rules and big data are bringing a formulaic and lean feeling to our customer touch points. These ‘rules’ are constraining dialogue and stripping context away from our customer interactions to the point where customers feel shut down and objectified. As devices take on an increasing role as our window to the world, this shut down and lack of connection is rising to epidemic proportions as social researcher Brene Brown cites in her work Daring Greatly, April 2015.

 

Brands that operate in scripts and see customers only through the lens of data create two dimensional brand personalities. In contrast, brands that unleash the creative energy of their frontline staff, become three dimensional and will win over today’s customers who are craving for a more meaningful connection.

 

Scripts can break trust

As more and more of our customer interactions are algorithm driven or pre programed, when we do have one on one contact we need to make that as human as possible. Hearts and Minds research for leading funds managers in Australia found that scripts break trust and undermine the credibility of the person they are talking to. Customers felt that these customer service people are scripted and remunerated to say what they are saying, rather than actually believe it. Scripts therefore, can limit the frontline’s capacity to influence customers.

 

Free flowing conversations build connection

Story and context rather than scripts and lean data are delivering new breakthroughs in customer service. A Harvard case study shows LUX resorts in Mauritius realised 300% profits and a stellar Trip Advisor rating, by educating staff on anticipation of guest needs and priorities instead of training them in a highly rigid customer service process. Harvard Business Review April 2016. This freedom allowed the staff to bring their creative energy and ingenuity into customer interactions, thereby breaking new ground in customer experience.

 

Put the conditions in place to create the magic

Blocks in achieving a free flowing and imaginative customer service experience are often thwarted by internal service providers who fail to heed the imperative to change. IT departments who find the pace of change in the marketplace unreasonable according to their own standards, are frequent blockers to creating the customer magic. Marketing departments who fail to visualise the brand expressed as a customer experience can block the flow of creative energy throughout the organisation. Business needs to identify the blockers to creative energy to ensure it is free flowing all the way through to the customer.

 

Magic and creative energy create employee and customer engagement

Nothing builds engagement more that co creation, when we unleash the creative energy of the frontline and liberate them from the rigidity of scripts we are allowing them to listen to context and respond to a more complete understanding of a customer’s needs. As Warren Buffet asserts with confidence, the people that people respond to the most, will be the most successful. How to turn $40 into $50 billion, Warren Buffet, December 2014.

 

In co creation the customer feels like a creator because their requirements define the experience and the staff feels like a creator because they have used their imagination to respond.  In the exchange of creative energy people are creating deeper emotional connections, more relevance and greater customisation, in each and every moment.

 

Frontline people who work with creative energy are generating presence, are empowered and demonstrate greater warmth by feeling into the customer’s story. These three qualities are the key drivers of human charisma that dramatically boost the attraction of your brand. In a marketplace where product and service functional differentiation is a challenge to sustain, creative energy will be the X factor that gets you over the line.

 

 

Louise Kelly

Founder Thought Leaders Circle

http://www.thoughtleaderscircle.com

Managing Director

Hearts and Minds

http://www.heartsandsminds.com.au

louise.kelly@heartsandminds.com.au

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